Saturday, January 27, 2007

The Outlaw Josey Wales

The Outlaw Josey Wales is a really good movie, really sad, terrifying, and even political.

Josey Wales lives in Missouri and his family gets killed by Union Soldiers during the Civil War. So he joins the confederates to fight The Union.

I think that happens a lot in wars. Like there were probably Iraqis sitting around thinking, "I hate Saddam." But then a scud missile slammed into their house and kills their mom or lover or cousin, and then they are like, "I hate Saddam and Americans."

Josey Wales is a really sad character. He was just some guy with a family and a farm, then he sees his family killed in front of him. For a father to watch powerless his whole family get killed, I don't even want to imagine that feeling. I honestly can't imagine a worst feeling a human could have.

So Josey Wales practiced shooting and joined a confederate militia and killed as many union soldiers as he could. No ideology involved, he didn't care about slaves, or free states, or states' rights, just killing union soldiers and union people.

The Union won the war and kill all of Josey Wales' friends.

He has one friend left named Jamie played by Sam Bottoms, Timothy Bottoms brother.

While Jamie lay dying he sings Rose of Alabama.

This is probably the most miserable of Clint Eastwoods westerns, there are two almost rapes, a sad fucked indian "Endeavor to persevere." A crazy old woman trying to get to her son's place, demented union soldiers that don't want to stop fighting, a fucked up guy selling elixor. Everyone in the cast is fucked. They end up in a dead town with some whores and a bartender.

But at the end of all this killing and misery, a small group of people find a family. They aren't related, they have all had loved ones die, they have been exiled from their tribes and heritage, their children have been murdered, their farms and homes taken away, but in the end they find a family.

And what Josey Wales says before the final shootout, "Now remember, things look bad and it looks like you're not gonna make it, then you gotta get mean. I mean plumb, mad-dog mean. 'Cause if you lose your head and you give up then you neither live nor win. That's just the way it is."

2 comments:

Chief said...

YEah, that's such a good movie.

I like most of those Eastwood westerns, even Pale Rider.

I dunno--can you think of a single Clint Eastwood movie that you like that wasn't a WEstern? I can't.

It's a good thing he made a lot of them.

Someday, I want to write a Western. I don't think I'll even try to make it original in any way. Just guys riding horses in the desert, maybe a couple campfire scenes, and then a big shoot-out at the end.

Most actors nowadays aren't manly enough to play good cowboys. I think that's a big reason that the Western is dying as a genre.

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